Protective Autophagy in 5-Fluorouracil-Resistant Colorectal Cancer Cells and ERK-RSK-ABCG2 Linkage

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Sang-Pil Yoon


To evaluate the anti-cancer effects of yeast extract on resistant cells, autophagy and necroptosis were investigated in 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-resistant colorectal cancer cells. Further underlying characteristics on drug resistance were evaluated, focused on ERK-RSK-ABCG2 linkage. SNU-C5 and 5-FU resistant SNU-C5 (SNU-C5/5-FUR) colorectal cancer cells were adopted for cell viability assay and Western blotting to examine the anti-cancer effects of yeast extract. Yeast extract induced autophagy in SNU-C5 cells with increased Atg7, Atg12-5 complex, Atg16L1, and LC3 activation (LC3-II/LC3-I), but little effects in SNU-C5/5-FUR cells with increased Atg12-5 complex and Atg16L1. Both colorectal cancer cells did not show necroptosis after yeast extract treatment. Based on increased ABCG2 and RSK expression after yeast extract treatment, drug resistance mechanisms were further evaluated. As compared to wild type, SNU-C5/5-FUR cells showed more ABCG2 expression, less RSK expression, and less phosphorylation of ERK. ABCG2 inhibitor, Ko143, treatment induces following changes: 1) more sensitivity at 500 mM 5-FU, 2) augmented proliferation, and 3) less phosphorylation of ERK. These results suggest that protective autophagy in SNU-C5/5-FUR cells with increased ABCG2 expression might be candidate mechanisms for drug resistance. As the ERK responses were different from each stimulus, the feasible mechanisms among ERK-RSK-ABCG2 should be further investigated in 5-FU-resistant CRC cells.

KEYWORDS: Autophagy; Colorectal cancer; Drug Resistance; ERK; 5-fluorouracil.

How to cite this article

YOON, S. P. Protective autophagy in 5-fluorouracil-resistant colorectal cancer cells and ERK-RSK-ABCG2 linkage. Int . J. Morphol., 41(6):1816-1823, 2023.